But the golden rule of a good fitting bra is: use the underwire that fits YOUR BODY.
What this means, the wire that fits you may not satisfy the two criteria we discussed just a second ago. Your wire may be shorter or longer than the pattern expects you to use. We need to compare your favorite underwire with the specs the pattern calls for. If we’re lucky, our wire matches the pattern underwire criteria. If not, we may still be able to use the pattern, but this is where wire curve length adjustment may come in.
Inspecting the underwire and the pattern
The first thing when inspecting a bra pattern is to see what underwire shape it is designed for. If the pattern uses long underwires but you use plunge wires, that’s a problem pattern adjustment may not be able to fix. Plunge wires are very short in the front. If you’d adjust the pattern to fit such a wire, you can in fact distort the pattern up to a point it may not offer support. Or you can end up with a boob shifting out of the cup.
On the other hand, if the pattern calls for long front underwires, but you have regular day wear, this may work with adjusting the pattern. And that is because the difference between the two shapes is not so big.
But then again, if the pattern uses long underwires because it’s a strapless one, altering it for regular underwires is not a good thing. The band won’t hold, the bra may slide off.
Measuring the underwire
To simulate the cradle when it’s sewn, we need to overlap the pieces taking away the seam allowances.
Tape the pieces together and get ready for wire inspection.
When you’re fitting an underwire to a (any) pattern cradle, the starting point is NONE of the ends of the wire curves. It’s the bottom bowl.
Armed with the knowledge that our wire is shorter or longer at the underarm area, we now know, the pattern has to be adjusted. In the next article, we will look at this particular adjustment. Other future posts may cover shortening in the front, or the opposite, adding length. But, one article at a time.